Take this as just speculation, but according to popular website DANLESCOULISSES.com, the Montreal Canadiens had their eyes on goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury prior to the veteran landing with the Chicago Blackhawks. Apparently, the Canadiens were thinking they might lose Carey Price to the Seattle Kraken and as a backup plan, were ready to swing a deal for Fleury.
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The site notes that according to two of their trusted sources, the Canadiens had a plan in place to replace Carey Price with Fleury. They write that it would have cost GM Marc Bergevin a third or fourth round pick, but that he was prepared to make the deal if Price was selected by Seattle.
Ultimately, the Kraken felt there were too many question marks when it came to Price’s health, his age and his cap hit and instead chose to select Cale Fleury. All the while, the Canadiens weren’t sure if Seattle would take Price and they needed another option to play alongside Jake Allen. The report adds, “If Price had been claimed by the Kraken, Fleury would possibly have been traded to the Canadian around the draft (July 23-24).”
The cap hit from Fleury wouldn’t have been an issue as the Habs would have subtracted a $10.5 million player for the next five seasons and replaced that contract with a $7 million player for one more year. It was noted that the Canadiens were on Fleury’s list of places he would have been happy to be traded to and there wouldn’t have been the same delay there was when deciding whether or not to report to the Blackhawks.
No Confirmation, But It Makes Sense
While no big media types or NHL insiders have reported anything similar to this report, the deal would make sense from a number of perspectives. First, the Canadiens would have needed another goalie and Fleury would have been a great replacement. Two, the Vegas Golden Knights would have been pleased as punch to obtain a draft pick in return versus nothing (what they got from Chicago). Third, Fleury being interested in the Canadiens sounds logical.
Bergevin has been known to make big trades and this certainly would have eased the pain of losing Price, while also giving the Canadiens more flexibility to add pieces. The cap savings of $3.5 million for this coming season would have come in handy and helped the team obtain additional pieces to replace the injured Shea Weber.
Next: Oilers Hit Snag in Kailer Yamamoto Contract Negotiations
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